Rev Rev - 2 months ago 20
CSS Question

Detect if an input has text in it using CSS -- on a page I am visiting and do not control?

Is there a way to detect whether or not an input has text in it via CSS? I've tried using the

:empty
pseudo-class, and I've tried using
[value=""]
, neither of which worked. I can't seem to find a single solution to this.

I imagine this must be possible, considering we have pseudo-classes for
:checked
, and
:indeterminate
, both of which are kind of similar thing.

Please note: I'm doing this for a "Stylish" style, which can't utilize JavaScript.

Also note, that Stylish is used, client-side, on pages that the user does not control.

Answer

Stylish cannot do this because CSS cannot do this. CSS has no (pseudo) selectors for <input> value(s). See:

The :empty selector refers only to child nodes, not input values.
[value=""] does work; but only for the initial state. This is because a node's value attribute (that CSS sees), is not the same as the node's value property (Changed by the user or DOM javascript, and submitted as form data).

Unless you care only about the initial state, you must use a userscript or Greasemonkey script. Fortunately this is not hard. The following script will work in Chrome, or Firefox with Greasemonkey or Scriptish installed, or in any browser that supports userscripts (IE most browsers, except IE).

See a demo of the limits of CSS plus the javascript solution at this jsBin page.

// ==UserScript==
// @name     _Dynamically style inputs based on whether they are blank.
// @include  http://YOUR_SERVER.COM/YOUR_PATH/*
// @grant    GM_addStyle
// ==/UserScript==
/*- The @grant directive is needed to work around a design change
    introduced in GM 1.0.   It restores the sandbox.
*/

var inpsToMonitor = document.querySelectorAll (
    "form[name='JustCSS'] input[name^='inp']"
);
for (var J = inpsToMonitor.length - 1;  J >= 0;  --J) {
    inpsToMonitor[J].addEventListener ("change",    adjustStyling, false);
    inpsToMonitor[J].addEventListener ("keyup",     adjustStyling, false);
    inpsToMonitor[J].addEventListener ("focus",     adjustStyling, false);
    inpsToMonitor[J].addEventListener ("blur",      adjustStyling, false);
    inpsToMonitor[J].addEventListener ("mousedown", adjustStyling, false);

    //-- Initial update. note that IE support is NOT needed.
    var evt = document.createEvent ("HTMLEvents");
    evt.initEvent ("change", false, true);
    inpsToMonitor[J].dispatchEvent (evt);
}

function adjustStyling (zEvent) {
    var inpVal  = zEvent.target.value;
    if (inpVal  &&  inpVal.replace (/^\s+|\s+$/g, "") )
        zEvent.target.style.background = "lime";
    else
        zEvent.target.style.background = "inherit";
}